Feb 5, 2013 5:30pm PST
our report. >> reporter: drones have been called president obama's weapon of choice. during his four years as commander in chief, u.s. military and cia drone strikes have accelerated at an unprecedented pace. more than 400 cia strikes against targets in pakistan and yemen. eight times as many as under president bush. >> they have been very precise, precision strikes against al qaeda and their affiliates. >> these strikes are legal. they are ethical. and they are wise. >> reporter: but today, new questions about drone strikes targeting american citizens, including anwar al awlaki. born in new mexico and killed in yemen in 2011. he allegedly directed the so-called underwear bomber, who tried to blow up an airliner over detroit in 2009. but awlaki was never charged with a crime. nbc news has obtained this confidential 16-page justice department memo that concludes lethal strikes against u.s. citizens who are operational leaders of al qaeda are a lawful act of national self-defense. >> we only take these kinds of actions when there's an imminent threat, when capture is not feasible, and
Feb 6, 2013 6:30pm EST
-up shoreline. thanks. >>> president obama made an interesting choice for interior secretary today, nominating sally jewel to replace the outgoing ken salazar. jewel is ceo of rei, the outdoor outfitter. she hasn't worked in government but was a chemical engineer for mobile and a banker in her earlier career. she'll oversee half a million federal acres. the president said she once took a month-long hike in the mountains of antarctica. the president confessed as a native hawaiian, given the cold, something would never occur to him. >>> the outgoing defense secretary said to students in a speech, leon panetta warned of huge budget cuts looming for the pentagon if congress doesn't act. and he had had some choice words for both sides blaming each for to reach an agreement to avoid cuts to our military. also generally what's happened lately to washington. >> thank you very much. this is not a game. this is reality. these steps would seriously damage a fragile american economy, and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis, precisely at a time of rising inacross stability across the globe.